I can't lie, I love the toddler stage. I would take a "spirited" 2-year-old toddler over a newborn any day. Toddlers can talk; toddlers can actually play with you; toddlers are learning all the time; toddlers can tell you they love you (and do); toddlers are just so much fun and I so enjoy learning more and more about the person my 2-year-old son is becoming, every day. Still, there are times when toddlers are the most disgusting beings on the planet, and those times can, well, "subtract" from all the positives that go along with caring for a tiny mini-human.

My son turned 2-years-old in August, and as a "new" 2-year-old he has mastered a few things: he can count to ten, he can name all the colors and, it turns out, he can sufficiently gross me out at a moment's notice. Everything from pooping in the tub to picking his nose to combining foods that should never be combined (then eating them) to sitting on the ground of arguably the most disgusting train station I have ever seen; my kid does "passionately disgusting" extremely well. I'd be proud and even a little impressed, if I wasn't the one usually tasked to clean up the aftermath. (A task that, honestly, should involve a hazmat suit but, you know, doesn't.)

So, in the name of solidarity and because I need a reason to laugh (otherwise I'm just going to start crying) here are all the ways toddlers can be (and usually are) the most disgusting human beings on the planet. Hand sanitizer, anyone?

When They Pee The Bed, And Continue To Sit In Their Own Pee


It's not enough to simply pee the bed (for the third time that week) and soak through his pajamas. Oh, no. My son thinks it's socially acceptable to sit in said pee for an untold amount of time and/or until I realize that he's had another accident.

When They Poop In The Bathtub

I think my son just times his bowel movement so that they can coincide with bath time. My son will go all day with zero poops (to the point that I'm starting to worry), onto to let a log float the moment his little butt touches the bath water. Unbelievable.

When They Play With Their Poop, Using It As A Crayon Or Paint


The following is a true story that has happened to me and, as a result, I will never be the same. Pray for me.

I was working from home, typing away and minding my own business. Suddenly, a hush fell over my apartment, which can only mean my toddler son is doing something he's clearly not supposed to do. I get up and walk to our kitchen to find my son facing one of our kitchen walls, smearing poop all over it and with a reckless abandon I would have admired, if I had not been completely mortified. He had let one fly in the middle of our kitchen floor, then used his deposit in order to express himself "artistically." #ForeverUnclean

Usually, Any Time They Poop

A toddler + poop = a recipe for complete disaster. I mean, I just have two words for you, dear reader: potty training.


When They Lick Playground Equipment


Why, oh why, does my son feel the need to lick the same playground equipment that thousands upon thousands of germ-covered children have probably touched and/or licked, themselves? Why?

When They Lick Other People

I can't believe this is an actual thing.

When They Pick Things Off The Ground And Stick Them In Their Mouth


I'm all for the "five second rule" and I'll stand by that very reasonable measure as a way to conserve food. After all, if I'm going to put in the time and effort it takes to prepare a meal (even if it's me peeling a fruit or cutting something in half) I'm not going to just throw it away because it touches an undesirable surface for a little bit.

However, when my son finds some dried up "something" and pops it into his mouth the moment he has picked it up off the floor? Yeah, we've crossed the line.

When They Chew Up Their Food, And Then Spit It Everywhere

My son has entered this "spitting phase," also known as the seventh circle of hell. He is spitting everything from water to chewed up pieces of food and it is so disgusting I can barely keep my own food down.

When They Sick And Projective Vomit All Over You


To their credit, this is definitely not any child's fault and, if we're all being honest, we've all done some pretty disgusting things when we've been sick.

However, I will never forget the time my son was so sick he projectile vomited all over me. It was in my hair, my nose, in my mouth, in my hair and, well, in places vomit should never be. So gross.

When They Refuse To Cover Their Mouths When They Cough Or Sneeze

If there's ever to be another plague, I guarantee you it will be spread by toddlers who refuse to cover their mouths or noses. Mark my words.

When They're Simultaneously Being Really Adorable


That's the thing about toddlers, though: they can be so disgusting you may or may not want to hurl, but they're also incredibly adorable, even in their profound grossness. My son can be covered in his own feces, and I'll still think to myself, "Wow, that is one cute kid covered in poop."